Johann Strauss II - Kaiser-Walzer (Emperor Waltz), Op. 437

Strauss often played in the glittering Imperial balls, conducting the orchestra and playing the first violin at the same time.   The majestic launch of this fascinating waltz presents the backdrop of the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the hegemony of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph in 1888. Johann Strauss II was Music Director of the Dance Hesperides of the Imperial Court from 1863 to 1872 and composed on occasion for the celebration of an imperial anniversary. The ingenuity of the melody of the Emperor Waltz, which was originally orchestrated for a full orchestra, is such that it was easily adapted for the four or five instruments of a chamber ensemble by the Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg in 1925. This waltz is a tender and somewhat melancholic work, which at times turns its gaze nostalgically to the old Vienna. The waltz praises the majesty and dignity of the old monarch, who was fully devoted to his people. It begins with a majestic, magnificent march, which soon re

Carl Maria von Weber - Clarinet Concerto No.2 in E-flat major, Op.74

The graceful and lyrical music, which brings to mind the clean atmosphere and the serenity of the countryside, characterizes many orchestral works composed by Carl Maria von Weber during his short life.


Just as Mozart and Brahms composed works for clarinet for a specific performer, so Carl Maria von Weber, again, was inspired by the performance of Heinrich Joseph Baermann, the first clarinetist of the Munich Court orchestra.

In 1811, the King of Bavaria, Maximilian the First, ordered Weber to compose two concertos for Baermann, which he would perform in Munich. After the premiere of this concerto, Weber wrote in his diary about "the tumultuous applause caused by Baermann's divine performance."

This concerto follows the usual classical form, although in this interpretation there are no cadences - extensive sections only for solo instruments.


Ι. Allegro

The inaugural Allegro begins in a heroic style with the participation of the entire orchestra. The second theme, presented by the violins, is a sweeter melody. It is worthy of attention the original phrase of the solo clarinet, which includes the first of many difficult passages along the spectrum of the instrument.

The solo clarinet is joined with the orchestra in a general rework of the introductory theme, before leading to the main section. A rapid ascending scale for the soloist, performed in staccato (each note isolated), leads the melody to its recapitulation as well as a powerful finale.

ΙΙ. Romanza: Andante 

In the melancholic Andante the soloist appears after two meters of pitsikato cellos. Strings and woodwinds alternate, illuminating the music. Then follows a "Recitativo ad lib.", where the solo clarinet and the orchestra adopt the free style of a vocal recitativo accompanied by chords - reminiscent of Weber's operas.

ΙΙΙ. Alla Polacca

The concluding Alla Polacca, a Polonaise, is brilliant and exuberant. A more serene episode ensues, but the pace soon speeds up again with many exciting solo sections. Three long trembling notes, followed by more passages from high tonalities to low and vice versa, complete the concerto.